Recommendation Three:
Ensure the formal evaluation system is based on student learning and professional development that enhances teachers' knowledge and skills. An informal process of continued feedback and recognition for teacher performance should accompany the formal evaluation process.


Role Group Strategies

Pursue certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Teacher Diary:  On the Road to National Certification
Starr, L.  (2003, August). Education World.
This website connects to five diaries written by teachers working through the process of Board Certification in 2003.  Accompanied by an overview of the process of Board Certification, these diaries allow readers to understand the changes that teachers working for certification undergo and the type of reflection that the process encourages.

Beginning the Journey toward National Board Certification
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. (2003, August 26).
This guide from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards describes the certificates, standards, and steps involved in the process of National Board Certification.

Better Assessment for Better Teaching
Castor, B.  (2002, December 11). Education Week
This article from Education Week examines many of the weaknesses of standard teacher evaluation systems and describes the benefits of encouraging teachers to earn certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as a method of improving teaching quality and student learning.

NBPTS:  Building better teachers
Starr, L.  (2004, April). Education World.
This Education World interview with Joseph A. Aguerrebere Jr., President of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, outlines the process of board certification, as well as the benefits for teachers and students.  It is a brief and informative look at the potential that board certification has for changing teaching and learning in America.

Support teacher evaluation systems that are based on recognized standards of professional practice and enhance teacher knowledge and skills by encouraging portfolio assessment, peer observations and coaching opportunities.

Education Update:  New Goals for Teacher Evaluation
Mann, L.  (1999, March).  Education Update, 41(2).
This article outlines a process of teacher evaluation known as Collaborative Peer Review and profiles its implementation in California’s Vine Hill Elementary School.  Comprised of team evaluations and observations completed by teachers, this process is more meaningful for teachers because of its connection to actual practice.  The article also includes a description of teacher portfolios as a tool for evaluation and teacher observations.

Outstanding Teacher Program
Douglas County School System

The Douglas County School System, just outside of Denver, Colorado, was one of the first school systems in America to adopt a pay for performance plan in the recent wave of school reform.  This website outlines the pay for performance plan and describes the district's Outstanding Teacher Program, in which teachers create portfolios documenting their accomplishments in the classroom.  The detailed descriptions of these portfolios provide schools and communities with adaptable tools to use to improve their own teacher evaluation systems.

Portfolios Help Teachers Reflect on What Makes Good Teaching
Delisio, E.  (2000, November 21). Education World.
Many states are moving to a portfolio system of evaluation for new teachers, which are believed to give schools a more accurate picture of a teacher’s strengths and weaknesses and to help teachers learn to reflect on their practice.  This article outlines Connecticut’s portfolio program, identified as one of the nation’s most comprehensive, and includes interviews with teachers who have worked through the process and those who have scored portfolios.

Professional Evaluation:  Professional Growth Plans Offer Alternative to Teacher Checklists
Barkley, S.G., and Cohn, R. (1999, September). American Association of School Administrators
Traditionally, teacher evaluation has consisted of one or two brief classroom observations per year, which do little to increase a teacher’s ability as a skilled practitioner.  This article examines an innovative approach to teacher evaluation used in Bethpage, NY which allows experienced teachers to select from four alternative evaluation models:  peer coaching teams, action research, personal growth plans, or portfolios.

Core Standards for Teachers in North Carolina
The North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards Commission.  (1999).
The state of North Carolina, working with administrators, policymakers, teachers and parents, developed a set of core standards for professional teaching practice based on the work of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium.  This website describes the six standards that should be used by schools and districts to guide teacher evaluation and professional development.

School Based Coaching – A Lit Review
Green, Terry. (2004). National Staff Development Council
This document presents a review of literature supporting school-based staff developers or coaches. The author provides detailed definitions of key terms and then discusses research pertaining to a variety of coaching models. The publication also includes a list of practical tools for use by schools and districts.

Teachers Observing Teachers:  A Professional Development Tool for Every School
Israel, M.  (2003, February 4). Education World
This article explains the benefits of having teachers observe other teachers, not to evaluate performance, but to provide professional development and encourage growth. 

Become reflective practitioners by participating in action research as individuals or as members of school-based study groups.  Create Critical Friends groups to encourage informal evaluation of teaching practice and student achievement.

Their Key to Survival:  Each Other
Gingold, H.  (2004, June). Classroom Leadership, 7(9).
This article from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development describes the work of four teachers in Liverpool, N.Y. who created a “collaborative teacher network” designed to support one another throughout the school year.  The four teachers worked as a team, planning lessons and instruction, evaluating the results of their teaching, and refining their professional practice.  They set aside time each week to meet with one another, and kept in regular contact via email and phone calls.  As a result, their teaching improved and they each developed skills required of reflective practitioners.

Redesigning Professional Development:  Critical Friends
Bambino, D.  (2002, March). Educational Leadership, 59(6), 25-27.
Because of their shared experiences, teachers can often provide the most effective instructional support to their colleagues.  One model for this type of collaboration is the Critical Friends Group.  This article introduces the concept and benefits of Critical Friends groups and tells the stories of three schools that have implemented Critical Friends groups with great success.

Action Research Tools and Resources
The Teacher Leaders Network
The members of the Teacher Leaders Network, a major initiative of the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality, recently examined the process and potential of action research as a school improvement tool.  This web page features an extensive list of action research resources.  Included are articles related to action research, sample action research projects, and reviews of books that are designed to introduce educators to the process of action research.

Themes in Education:  Action Research
Ferrance, E.  (2000). Themes in Research. Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory.
This booklet introduces the concept of action research, a process of careful reflection on practice that encourages collaboration and allows teachers to address issues that are pertinent to their settings.  It provides an overview of the history of action research, an explanation of a process for completing it, stories from two teachers who have completed action research, and links to additional action research resources.

What is Action Research?
Sagor, R.  (2000). 
Guiding School Improvement with Action Research. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

This chapter from the book Guiding School Improvement with Action Research by Richard Sagor introduces the concept of and processes involved in action research.  He discusses the impact action research has on building reflective practitioners, achieving school-wide priorities, and building professional cultures and outlines a seven-step process common to any action research project.

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